As I write this post, the news channels are inundating our senses with the latest on the suspects from the Boston Marathon bombing. Ever efficient, reporters from every media outlet have descended on the Boston, Massachusetts area, in order that we might know every single gritty detail of the tragedy making front page headlines.
On my part, my heart goes out to those who were injured and the families who are also in the process of planning funerals for their loved ones.
However, there are a few things with which I am struggling. Please bear with me as I point out some deficiencies in what we are seeing and hearing played out in front of us. This article is not meant to demean the suffering of those injured or the grief of the families of those killed in anyway.
First, let’s consider a little history lesson. The media has already found out that the suspects are of Chechen heritage. During the breakup of the USSR in the early 1990’s, Chechnya became its own self-proclaimed republic, but during the second war with Russia, it was brought back under control of the Russian Federation. The predominant religion of Chechnya is and remains Islam. Down through the last twenty plus years of fighting between Chechnya and Russia, we have heard of the extremist and separatist movements within the country as well as the acts of terrorism that have been perpetrated upon neighboring countries. The most notable was when a group of terrorists (which included Chechen nationals) took over an elementary school and eventually killed 334 children and staff before being killed.
Secondly, many within the Muslim communities of America are frightened right now because they fear that this will reflect on their heritage and their so-called peace-loving religion. In fact, before the media even found out about the current suspects, they were interviewing members and leaders of the Muslim community, who in turn stated that as soon as they heard of the bombing that they were hoping that the bombers were not of the Islamic faith. This is always of great interest to me because the Quran (Koran, etc) allows for the subjugation and killing of infidels.
I found it interesting that the media was able to find the father of the two current suspects overseas. In a recorded interview he commented that if his sons were killed in the manhunt that “all hell would break loose” upon those who killed them. Hmmmmm, doesn’t sound very peace-loving to me?
Why would the Muslims be afraid that a follower of Islam would seek to follow the dictates of his conscience and of what are considered to be the holy writings of this religion? Islam has long built a slavish following by the use of a bloody sword across great swathes of Asia and Africa. Many in the media and our government would have us to believe Islam a peace-loving religion and that extremists, separatists, and terrorists are a rare breed that just uses the Quran and Islam as a means to justify their killing and mayhem. Yet, this is not rare.
Islam enslaves over a billion people in the world. Women live in fear and bondage across many countries in Asia and Africa. Christians are being slaughtered in a vain attempt to stop the growth of Biblical Christianity from spreading in many countries on these two continents.
Third, despite the fact that the current suspects are Muslim, I have yet to read of any Muslim leaders giving interviews condemning the killing of innocent civilians. In fact, I cannot recall any interviews given by Muslim leaders living here in the “Great Satan” called America casting condemnation against the brutalities of their fellow brethren around the world. While they sit here and enjoy every privilege and protection afforded natural-born US citizens, their caustic and hateful rhetoric against America continues to grow month after month.
It is to the point now that our government finds itself in a similar situation to countries in Europe that have a new breed of terrorists – home grown ones. These are people who were born here, raised here all their lives, sound just like us, played American sports, gained great educations, lived the American dream, etc.
Why is this? Very simply because their religion permits whatever means is necessary in order to enslave the people of the world to the dictates of Islam. If you don’t believe that this is the underlying intent and purpose of the religion of Islam, then I invite you to take a trip over to Africa or Asia. Proclaim at the border of a country whose laws are based on the religion of Islam that you are Bible believing Christian and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Or, just wait until you arrive at a local marketplace. Stand and proclaim boldly that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to heaven and find out what happens.
Another reason you will not hear any condemnation and that we will continue to see an increase of terrorism is that those who adhere to Islam are not Americans first, they are Muslims first. This is not surprising for this is the way of many religions. A Catholic is expected to give allegiance to Catholicism, a Buddhist to the tenets of Buddhism, and a Hindu to the teachings of Hinduism. Even true biblical Christianity believes and teaches this. We sing, “This world is not our home and we are just passing through.” We claim that we are but pilgrims and sojourners passing through and that our primary allegiance is to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The difference though is that biblical Christianity cannot and NEVER has been able to gain converts through the use of force. A person does not become a true believer in Christ at the point of a sword.
Sadly, I am not convinced that we have seen the end of terrorism here in America. I believe it will continue and we may very well see more acts of terror and in larger scale. As long as our country fails to admit the realities of the ideologies that separate many Americans from those in the Muslim faith, no direct action will ever be forthcoming. Muslim terrorists will continue to infiltrate our country and civilians will lose their lives while the media and the government attempt to put whatever spin they can on the situation in order to keep the gullible public from knowing the truth, and also to keep them from thinking that there is an enemy that has been permitted to reside in our midst.
Now, having stated a few facts about Islam, the question for us is what can we do about this problem? No, I am not referring to picking up guns or swords and beginning another crusade against all foreigners who hold to Islam. The problem is much larger than winning a few battles, and it will not end even if all the current haters of America were killed by our troops and bombs overseas. Another batch of haters would soon arise and the war would begin again.
The biggest issue by far is how we we as true Christians approach these people who are our neighbors. Do we ignore them and hope they will one day “go back to where they came from?” In a recent post, I shared a few thoughts about who is our neighbor, and I am convinced that Muslims are also our neighbors. We should go out of our way to not only see them as a neighbor, but to also seek to show them the grace and love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts.
Reality hurts when we realize that we are not that far removed from those who seek to use terrorism to further their cause. Currently, we have troops in several different countries. They have been killing enemy forces but there have also been many confirmed civilians killed by our forces. If we had enemy troops here in America who were killing innocent civilians, I am certain that we would also probably revolt against such invasions of tyranny. Yet, our government somehow thinks that it is above the laws and protection that it imposes on its own people yet denies to the civilian populations of other sovereign countries.
Regardless of what our government is doing and the anger that they fueling in other lands and in the hearts of those who hold to a religion other than Christianity, again, the question is – what are we doing?
Do we fuel our minds on the news that talks about how “at least 3 dead” but fail to give one moment of concern for the killed civilians in foreign lands who are going directly to hell without having heard the gospel even once? These were husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters of somebody just as were the victims of those in the Boston Marathon bombing. We weep for those we do not know because they were Americans, but fail to weep for those killed because they are lost and bound for a Christ-less eternity.
Few probably wonder what difference it might have made if those who came here looking for a new life of freedom had found the open arms of biblical Christians waiting to welcome them. I myself have to wonder what difference it would make if I spent as much time not only praying for their salvation but also showing the truth of John 3:16 instead of fueling the depravity of my own heart with the gory details of how one more Muslim killed some civilians. Again, this is not meant in anyway to demean the heartache being suffered by the families in Boston.
This post is simply an attempt for us who are Christians to give some consideration as to what should be our priorities. Either we believe that Christ came into the world to save sinners, or we believe by our actions that He only came into the world to save Westerners and especially white Americans!
Yes, without a doubt, Islam is a bloody religion. More will continue to die and some will sacrifice their own lives in order to obtain a reward that is not going to be awaiting them. However, Christianity is a religion that should be showing forth that Christ has provided forgiveness to our own hearts. We as true believers should be spending much time showing to the world that we are able to forgive those who do wrong against us, that we are striving each day to learn to love our neighbors, and that our goal is to fulfill the second greatest commandment given by Christ.
We must stop hating people because they hate the policies and practices of the American government. We must show them that the real reason we can love them is because we have been forgiven for our sins that are no less or no greater than the ones they have committed. Our faith, not the flawed policies of our government, must dictate the direction of our hearts and our actions. If this world is not our home, then our marching orders proceed from our Commander-in-Chief through the pages of the Holy Scriptures.
Loving those who come from a background of terrorism will never be easy, but the real enemy is NOT Islam. The real enemy is not an Iraqi, an Iranian, or an Afghani. The real enemy is the enemy of our souls – the evil one, Satan himself. As long as he blinds the hearts and minds of unbelievers (either American or foreign), there will be no peace. However, when the Holy Spirit makes a man or a woman a new creation in Christ, all the old things will pass away and all things will become new.
To conclude, I am saddened not only for the families who are suffering, but also for the families of the suspected terrorists. They will never have the hope of hearing their loved ones have placed their faith in Christ. Yes, they chose their own deceptive path, but the reality of hell still awaits them. Judgment Day has arrived for them when they take their last breath. In the meantime, I have to wonder how many true believers these men may have met, and further, how many of them spent time praying for these individuals or even seeking to show them the love of Christ.
A great article. I’m faced with the tension in my own soul (natural versus spiritual) in how to keep my heart from seeing the followers of Islam from a godly perspective. I’m glad you wrote this. Thanks for sharing.
Mark you have written an excellent article in addressing Christians here in the West about the necessity of loving our neighbour, including Muslim terrorists. The problem with many Western Christians is that they are too weighed down by materialism and worldliness. So when it comes to loving our neighbour we need to begin to love those who are within the Church here in the West, which is something we have not done very well at all. For we as Christians only seem to care about our close immediate families and our close friends. Other than that, we really don’t care less about anyone else. This is the message we have been sending loud and clear to our culture. This of course has turned many non-Christians away from local Churches, and has rather added to the growing hostility against Christianity here in the West. May the Lord wake up His sleeping, worldly Church to the needs around them.
Spurgeon used to say “it would be easier if the Elect had a big “E” on their backs so we could just preach to them. But since they don’t, we preach to everyone.”
I’m sure there are plenty of God’s elect in the world of Islam! It’s up to the church to get God’s truth out to all people but unfortunately… few today are willing to tell others about the great salvation we have in Christ!
What it will take to wake up “God’s people?”
This is an excellent article. It brings out the way Muslims think, gives detailed attitudes of Muslims towards terrorism and ends with how reformed evangelical Christians should respond.
One of the great tragedies of Islam is that Muslims are taught in the Koran that Christians will never be their friends. It teaches that we will pretend to be their friends and then betray them. So when they see us loving our neighbours, they see potential treachery. That’s what they have been taught.
But Muslims are our neighbours, and our Lord told us to love them, anyway. We don’t do it as a way to save them — that’s going to take a work of Almighty God. We do it because our Lord told us to do so, and we know that He will use our obedience to bring honour to Himself. Maybe a heart will be changed, maybe a heart will be hardened. That’s a matter for the Lord of the Harvest to deal with.
Amen, Jon. We must be faithful regardless of the results.
Rev. Limiter, Jerry and Jennifer, thank you for your words of encouragement. Knowing my own heart I know that it is a continual work in progress to be willing to love others that don’t look, act, or speak like me. Even the wrong belief set can turn our heads and hearts away from desiring to have a better relationship with others who are our neighbors.